The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

19 July 2005

It all ends here

Dustbury, Oklahoma — 4915.3 miles

The real question, of course, is "What has changed since I left?" The answer, of course, is "Not much," although I shudder to imagine my electric bill, even with the A/C set on a thrifty 82 degrees in my absence.

Oh, and some Roads Scholar working the exits up in the northeast has come up with a new wrinkle: the speed limit just beyond the Afton/Vinita exit from the Will Rogers Turnpike is 17 mph. I guess this is as fast as you can go and still get the attention of Baron von Tollbooth.

Coming into Afton, the sign at the bridge at Horse Creek shares a pole with this one: RADAR ENFORCED. How they intend to enforce a creek is beyond me. (There are no speed-limit signs for at least 500 feet in either direction.)

Something I didn't know existed, but found on US 60 west of Vinita: Belgian Blue beef. It's billed as low-fat and organic, both of which seem to be worthy goals.

Some things I thought I'd see, but didn't:

  • Kids in Bristol, Pennsylvania, which means I am unable to vouch personally for their sharpness.
  • The George Washington Bridge, mostly out of the sort of fear inspired by WCBS traffic reports.
  • Any official trace of the former village of New Rome, Ohio, which I drove through at somewhere around 40 mph. A couple of businesses on Broad Street make reference to New Rome, but otherwise it's disappeared from the face of the earth.

Final toll report: Will Rogers Turnpike, $1.25; total $26.65.

I did not in fact blow my budget this year: in expectation of even worse gas prices than I saw, I allowed for $2800, and spent $2175. The usual statistics:

Total amount of fuel used, in gallons: 160.1
Fuel consumption, in miles per gallon: 30.7
Worst tank, in mpg: 28.4
Best tank, in mpg: 34.0
Fastest speed attained, in miles per hour: 87
Number of emails accumulated: 1,621
Number of which I actually had some reason to read: 247

The least-pricey tankful was bought at a Kum & Go (!) in Springfield, Missouri for $2.099.

Acknowledgments: Your Humble Narrator would like to thank:

Personal to She Who Is Not To Be Named: Have a wonderful summer.

This concludes the text entries for World Tour '05. I return to the Big Desk, having a Coke and wearing a smile. Thank you for your support.

Posted at 6:05 PM to World Tour '05

Welcome home! Glad to know you arrived safe and sound.

Posted by: uturn at 10:42 AM on 20 July 2005

Low fat beef?

That's so, so very wrong.

Posted by: Venomous Kate at 10:34 PM on 20 July 2005

Well, it's not what I aspire to in a steak, but for workaday burgers, I don't mind draining off less liquid. :)

Posted by: CGHill at 10:43 PM on 20 July 2005

Welcome Home! And come quick, weekend, so Chaz can rest up from his vacation.

I'm looking forward to the resumption of continuous and frenetic posting.

Posted by: Dan at 11:23 PM on 20 July 2005

You went halfway across the country and back for only $26.65 in tolls? A round-trip from Baltimore to the Upper West Side of New York City (400 miles total) costs $30.45 by the most direct route (I-95, New Jersey Turnpike, George Washington Bridge).

Posted by: Dr. Weevil at 11:24 PM on 20 July 2005

I have little fondness for the "most direct route," unless I'm in a hurry.

$16.25 of that total came from a single stint on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, leaving a mere $10.40 for elsewhere. (And I spent barely over $12 in 2003. Go figure.)

Posted by: CGHill at 11:36 PM on 20 July 2005